Millions of dollars in Severance and thrift/Retirement funds are been paid out to hospitality workers across Antigua and Barbuda. According to Deputy General Secretary of the Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union Chester Hughes who said “employees from The St James’s Club, Pineapple Beach Club, Verandah hotel, Galley Bay Resort and Spa, Sugar Ridge Resort and Spa and Hodges Bay Resort and Spa have begun receiving severance checks from their respective employers”.
Hughes went on to say that “he believes that this is a well-received stimulus for the former employees, and will go a long way in helping them to meet their needs. Individuals have been struggling to make ends meet with no form of income to care for their family in some case, however some persons have resorted to vending and other form of trade, utilizing their skills as they contemplate been out of workfor a while longer”.
In March 2020 a number of hotels were forced to Lay off their employees and to close their operation as a result of the Covid19 Pandemic. The hotels have been engaging the Antigua and Barbuda Workers' Union and have reached agreement to pay severance in accordance with the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Code to the affected employees.
Mr. Vernon Jeffers General Manager of Sugar Ridge resort and spa one of the hotels who paid their employee their severance in full told our reporter “the Owners and Management of Sugar Ridge resort is delighted that we were able to do this disbursement especially at this time of great need by our employees”.
Mr. Jeffers went on to state “we will be looking forward to welcoming back our team members when we reopen on the 5th of November 2020” During the period of the pandemic both the Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union and the Antigua and Barbuda Hotels and Tourism Association distributed Care Packages to Hotel employees and made available over 2 million from the retirement fund at Eastern Caribbean Amalgamated Bank (ECAB) to assist employees in taking care of their essential needs.